District-Wide FAQs

What is a District-Wide School or Program?

District-wide schools and programs are located within Rochester, and may deliver the curriculum in a different manner than neighborhood schools. District-wide schools and programs are available, tuition free to students. Transportation is also provided to eligible students that are enrolled at district-wide schools.

What are the available District-Wide Schools and Programs?

Rochester Public Schools offers six different District-wide options:

  • Gage Spanish Immersion Program
  • Longfellow 45-15 Elementary School
  • Lincoln K-8 Elementary School
  • Washington Core Knowledge Elementary School
  • Montessori at Franklin Elementary School
  • Friedell Middle School

How do I enroll my child into a District-Wide School or Program? 

To apply, you must fill out and submit an application to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

  1. Complete the form online at rochesterschools.org.

  2. Print the PDF form and mail it or drop it off at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Edison Administration Building, Second Floor, 615 7th Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55902.

  3. Fill out the form in person at the Edison Administration Building.

Why is there an application process?

Students are automatically assigned to their neighborhood school and the application process allows us to learn about a families' interest in attending a district wide school. At particular grade levels we may have a waiting pool due to a greater demand than the number of spots available.

Do you have to apply each year?

Yes, applications do not roll over from year to year. The 2021-2022 application will open in November.

Do students attending district-wide option schools have access to transportation?

Yes, students residing within RPS district boundaries are eligible for transportation to district-wide options schools (provided they live outside the walk zone).

How are students selected?

All applications are uploaded into a district database. Applications received by each selection process date will be placed into the selection process which includes random selection by the computer program.

Is there a waiting list?

No, there is a waiting pool. This means that applications that do not get selected during the first selection process are included in the subsequent selection process. Every selection process includes the randomized computer generated selection.

How long do I stay in the waiting pool?

Students stay in the waiting process for the school year. Families not selected in the previous school year must apply each year to be considered for the district-wide option schools process. Applications for students do not rollover from school year to school year.

Is there sibling preference?

Siblings of students attending a district-wide school during the 2021-2022 school year will have preference in the selection process. However, you still need to apply in order to receive sibling preference in the first initial drawing. Siblings who miss the deadline will have sibling preference, but will have to wait for space to become available. Be sure to indicate on the form that your child has a sibling and which district-wide school they attend. 

Please remember sibling preference, like all placements, are based on available space. Sibling preference does not apply to alumni or cousins. The intent for sibling preference is that siblings attend the same school at the same time.

Will I be notified if I am selected for a spot or if I am in the waiting pool?

Families selected in the initial drawing for Kindergarten and 6th grade at Friedell will be notified by phone the week of January 14th. Students not selected in the initial selection or subsequent selections will remain in the pool for future space and will be notified if selected.

If my child is a preschooler through an ECSE or ECFE program housed at one of the district-wide option schools do they get preference for Kindergarten to attend that school?

No, families are encouraged to apply but do not receive preference. 

Contact Us:

For more information or questions on the District-Wide Application Process, please contact the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education by calling (507) 328-4300 or by email.